Slovenia officially the Republic of Slovenia, is a nation state in Central Europe at the crossroads of main European cultural and trade routes. It borders Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Croatia to the south and southeast and Hungary to the northeast. The capital and largest city of this country is Ljubljana.
Christmas Celebrations in Slovenia :
Christmas is the most popular religious and family holiday in Slovenia. It has a long tradition of veneration and celebration, filled with the archaic Indo-European heritage, interwoven with later Christian performances. Christmas, which means in Slovene “little god” is connected with celebration of the myth of the Sun god and his son. It is set at the time of the winter solstice, when the old sun dies and is again re-born. It is the period around 25th December, when the old Indo-European peoples celebrated the new year, the start of a new cycle on the ‘birthday of the invincible Sun God – Dies natalis Solis invicti.
The creation of nativity scenes is a tradition in Slovenia that dates back several hundred years. Though the creation of nativity scenes to display in the home is common, live, publicly viewable nativity scenes have grown in popularity. The best-known live nativity scenes are those in Postojna Cave and at Ljubljana’s Franciscan Church on Prešeren Square. Christmas trees are decorated in Slovenia, more often now with purchased decorations than with homemade decorations like in olden times. Evergreen decorations and wreaths are also seen in Slovenia during Christmas time.
Slovenia’s Santa Claus tradition pulls from many other European traditions. Children in Slovenia can receive gifts from St. Nicholas, Baby Jesus, Santa Claus, or Grandfather Frost. St. Nicholas visits on St. Nicholas Day, December 6. Santa Claus or Baby Jesus visits on Christmas, and Grandfather or Father Frost may appear at the New Year.
The Christmas holiday is also marked by the burning of incense, the preparation of special foods, like the Christmas loaf called potica, the sprinkling of holy water, and the telling of fortunes. Traditionally, a pig was slaughtered before Christmas, so pork may be prepared for the Christmas meal.
Slovene people speak of three Christmases: the real one and two little Christmases (on New Year’s Day and the Three Kings). On these days, every family burned incense and the smoke brought magic power and, at the same time, expelled demons. Christmas is thus a truly hallowed and magical time.
Wishing all readers Merry Christmas 2019 & Happy New Year 2020 !!!